As the days go on, my place looks more better than when I first came here. However, there is still much to be done. One of the things I had to do was get a sofa for my living room. While Judith, Andrew and I decided to check out Yukawa (a fancy furniture store), the rest of the crew decided to the Naniwa Yodogawa Hanabi, a pretty famous fireworks festival here in Osaka. I figured we would have time to do both. Picking out a couch was more difficult than I thought but I ended up getting a nice 2 seater for about 300 dollars, 200 dollars less tan I was planning on spending on. Now all I need is a bookshelf, TV, and TV stand for my living room! By the time we finished that, it was early evening. If we hustled, we could still catch the firework display. It was up to me to get us over there since I was the only one that knew Japanese (Andrew was staying behind).
Little did I know how packed it was going to be.
By the time I figured out what stations to take, I realized we were going to be encountering an enormous crowd. The line to the ticket counter was proof enough:
After asking a few station attendants and information booths, we finally ended up where we needed to be. The crowd outside was even more packed. I guess this is what happens when you come at the very last minute:
After walking in this huge crowd for awhile, we ended up at the festival grounds. This was my first Japanese festival, so I was excited to see all the stands and games right by the river. There was a ton of food, a rifle game and of course, a chance to scoop up some fish. Here’s a couple of shots of the stands; you can clearly see how popular this event was by the amount of people that were there:
Not too long after we got some food, the fireworks started. It was one hell of a show compared to fireworks in the United States; it lasted for 50 minutes! I thought it was very beautiful as they were going off under a half moon. It was a clear sky that night, making it a memorable experience. Here are a few shots of it:
Here’s a video of it near the beginning:
And the finale:
We made the grave mistake of not leaving right before the finale as the walk back was really crowded and more confusing than the trip to the area. There was this huge detour to the train station that made us wonder if we were even going the right way.
Eventually after wandering half a mile or so with the crowd, we found our train station and headed back. We were unable to find our friends at the festival due to the enormous group of people, but we reunited with Tracy and her famous boyfriend at Namba. The reason he’s so famous around our area is because he’s a pretty attractive guy that makes the girls here go gaga over him. As Judith talked to Tracy, I was talking to him. He was a pretty nice guy as he introduced himself to us formally and we talked about random things like where he met Tracy, what I liked about Japan, and his love for Burger King. It was pretty fun when we got to Burger King as he was just basically drooling as we waited for our food. Talking to him in Japanese was a bit difficult as I am still not used to talking to native Japanese speakers but luckily he understood English pretty well in case I completely did not understand something he wasn’t saying. After we ate, we headed back home, ending another eventful day in Japan. I’m trying to enjoy the summer days as much as I can as time seems to be progressing faster. School starts in a few weeks, and that’s when the real challenge will begin.